It’s mating season for deer and Nebraska motorists need to be on-guard for possible prancing deer on the roads.
An insurance company study ranks the states on where it’s most likely to have a close encounter with Bambi. Ann Avery, with the State Farm office in Lincoln, says the Husker State has fallen, slightly, which is a good thing.
“Nebraska ranks 12th on the list of states where a collision with a deer is most likely,” Avery says. “That is an improvement for Nebraska, down from 10th place last year. It means, in Nebraska, the chance of a motorist hitting a deer in the coming year is one in about 106.”
She notes, those wrecks aren’t cheap.
“The average property damage cost of these kinds of incidents, in the final half of 2011 and the first half of 2012, was about $3300,” Avery says. “That’s up 4.4% from the year before.”
The number of deer-related collisions nationwide has risen by nearly eight-percent from last year.
While it may be impossible to be immune from deer collisions, Avery reminds drivers to take as many precautions as they can and to stay alert.
“One thing to know is that deer generally travel in herds, so if you see one, there’s a strong possibility others are nearby,” Avery says. “We also encourage people to be aware of posted deer crossing signs because those are placed, of course, in active deer crossing areas. Also be aware, deer are most active between 6 and 9 PM.”
If a deer collision appears inevitable, remember the slogan “Don’t Veer for Deer,” as if you try to swerve, you could end up in the ditch or in on-coming traffic.
Also, use high beam headlights as much as possible at night to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways — and don’t rely on car-mounted deer whistles.
The top states for hitting a deer are: West Virginia, South Dakota and Iowa. The state in which deer-vehicle mishaps are least likely is Hawaii — 1 in 6,801.
The odds of a driver in Hawaii colliding with a deer are nearly equal to the odds of being struck by lightning.